Welcoming baby Broncs: freshmen get started at Rider

By Jason Mount

As summer break came to a close, members of the Rider community welcomed its newest fellow Broncs with a variety of activities during Welcome Week.

First-year students moved onto campus Sept. 1, feeling a variety of emotions as they began their college careers. One first-year student, filmmaking, TV and radio major Rachel Katz, was particularly excited to partake in the extracurricular activities.

“I’m very excited to join clubs and make new friends at school and have a total fresh start,” Katz said.

Another first-year student, elementary eduation major Hailey Boho, also expressed her excitement to delve into her new Rider experience.

“I’m looking forward to the ways I can get involved, meeting new people, having new experiences and getting to learn about my future job,” Boho said.

With all the excitement, however, some of the first year students felt nervous to start a new chapter in their lives.

Katz shared her feelings about balancing the difficulty of schoolwork and living independently living on campus.

“I’m nervous to start doing college level work and to be living on my own without my parents,” Katz said.

Boho was concerned with navigating campus to find her classes and hoped she would be able to find her classrooms on time.

Another student, first year technical theater major Isabella Mazzoni, shared other common fears among freshmen.

“I would say the one thing I am most nervous about is the transition process, which for most students is cliche, but for me it’s serious,” Mazzoni said. “I’ve always lived a life of routine with no surprises or changes or things like that, so the fact that college is pretty much the complete opposite of that is pretty frightening.”

Despite the nerves, all three students felt ready for what Rider has to offer and believed it provides everything they want from a college.

“I felt really comfortable visiting campus,” Boho shared. “It felt like home. I also like the opportunities I get for my major and the way the staff helps and oversees and gives suggestions to help you in the future with your career.”

Katz also felt that the university could provide the opportunities she needs to succeed.

“I chose Rider because I love the opportunities that come with being in my major at this school,” Katz explained. “I also like the location of Rider, and that it’s close to New York City and Philadelphia.”

Mazzoni felt the school was meant for her because of the standard the university has for its students.

“I enjoy how high of a status the university holds for its academic programs,” she said. “I also enjoy how close the school is to my home. No matter how many times I visited Rider, I always wanted to come back.”

Rider’s Welcome Week helped some students feel at ease and get more comfortable with a college atmosphere.

For Mazzoni, her favorite part of the move-in process was getting settled in her room.

“I may be particular with the way I like my things laid out and organized, but I just loved setting it all up. I also really enjoyed reconnecting with a few friends I had made at other Rider events, such as orientation,” she said. Katz enjoyed getting the chance to spend time with her roommate. As for Boho, she enjoyed the welcoming atmosphere of Rider.

“My favorite part was how welcoming everybody was on campus,” Boho said. “Meeting with our community assistants (CA) helped me as well. My CA made me feel comfortable about living on campus and comfortable to be in this environment.”

While the three first-year students prepared to take on their first year of college, senior dance major Rose Conroy-Voza reminisced on her time at Rider as her final year started.

“I was nervous and excited,” Conroy-Voza said, looking at a picture from her freshman year. “Of course starting over in a new place without anyone you really know is nerve wracking, but I had settled in by the end of September and began to love my new home.”

Conroy-Voza felt college helped her grow as a person.

“I became a lot more self-sufficient and can rely a lot less on people, however I also know how to ask for help when I need it,” she said.

As the year began, Conroy-Voza shared a piece of advice for any incoming students: “Be yourself and your friends will come to you naturally.”

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